The Multiple Benefits of Herbs

Our last post discussed what foods to eat for healthier skin. (https://feelingmyself.net/2016/08/18/eat-colors-for-color/) This post is a follow up of sorts. We’ll discuss herbalism and the great benefits it has to your overall health including hair and skin.

Herbalism is the use of plants as medicine. It’s been around since the beginning of time. Traditionally, it hasn’t been embraced in Western society as much as it has been in other parts of the world. However, this has been changing recently. Many modern medical practitioners are starting to recognize the benefits of alternative treatments. In fact, there are now herbalism schools in the states to become a certified herbalist. Herbalists work with patients that seek them out for alternative medicine or side by side with a traditional doctor to work together on patients overall well-being. Society is starting to realize that we must go back to the natural state of things, aka plants. Now we see it more and more in our hair and beauty products as well as the benefits of eating a plant based diet.

Is it possible to utilize herbs for health AND look better than ever? Of course. Here are a few for everyday use.

Cinnamon. Full of antioxidants, fights sign of aging. Studies have suggested that cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and helps with weight loss as well. So add the grounds to your smoothies, oatmeal or coffee. Tip: Make sure you’re buying pure cinnamon and not cassia. Keep cinnamon in a dark space like your cabinet. It’s most potent when used in the year of purchase.

Aloe. Most of us already know that aloe helps with burns. Aloe also has many nutrients and antioxidants that benefit your body with digestion, arthritis, inflammation and psoriasis. It’s a great moisturizer for hair and skin. Aloe promotes hair growth and helps tame frizziness and itchy scalps.

Rosemary. This herb is packed with iron, calcium and vitamin B6. Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system. Rosemary has also been used for centuries to prevent gray hair and to hair loss. It actually works by stimulating the circulation in the scalp thereby resulting to hair growth.

Basil. Restores nervous system to ease stress, anti-inflammatory properties help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, relieves constipation, fights disease and reduces pain. The anti-bacterial properties of basil help skin conditions like acne.

fresh-herb-basket

Photo Credit: Google Image

These are just a few herbs that will have you feeling and looking better. So, don’t forget to eat your herbs and veggies as well as put them on your hair and face!

Eat Colors for Color

To all my bronze skinned beauties, who doesn’t want to look bronzier, glowier, and sexier?! Well, here’s yet another reason to eat your vegetables. As fall, and subsequently winter, grows nearer and nearer you don’t want to lose that beach bunny glow and get all pale and ashy looking, do you? So think carotenoids.

What are carotenoids? They are what makes carrots orange and tomatoes red. It gives all the red, yellow and orange produce their bright, beautiful color. Yes, they are super healthy for your immune system and fight the signs of aging, but did you know they can even make your skin appear tanner (read bronzier).

 

 

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I am always looking for natural ways to make my skin glowy, but I still get paler in the winter so I think this is worth looking into. In the winter I also tend to trade in my fresh summer salads for foods that are more comfort/carb based. Mac n cheese, pasta of all sorts, anything comforting and heavier to chase away the snowy blues. These foods unfortunately do nothing for my complexion.

Fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids like watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin, oranges, and more will give you that sunshine state glow like no other foods can. Eat them with avocado or avocado oil for maximum absorption. They will make your skin naturally tan better and appear bronzier and therefore more beautiful. This applies to ALL skin shades. Research has found that the tan skin coloring from carotenoids is perceived as more attractive than the tan coloring attributed to actual sun tanning. Plus carotenoids fight cancer versus contributing to it.

 

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Side note: Isn’t it interesting that these carotenoid rich food colors (red, orange, and yellow) also happen to correlate with the chakras that govern creativity? Creativity also includes attraction and reproduction energies (looking good and feeling yourself!). Also, I notice that the Yoruba orisha Oshun, an image of beauty that is said to said to assist with attraction and therefore manifestation, is also believed to favor pumpkins, honey, and watermelon as offerings. Is it possible that all these things could be related?

We know vegetables are good for us and most of us have heard that we should “eat our colors”, but did we know that we could also get bronzier, tanner skin as a result too? I don’t know about you, but I’ll be shopping the rainbow in the produce section from now on. I need that Jada Pinkett-Smith glow!

 

Shea Moisture Hair Color Review

Did you know that Shea Moisture has a hair color line? I stumbled upon this by accident. I was on their website looking at hair products and came across their hair color section. They have all of the colors ranging from blond to black. I usually go to the salon to color my hair but I couldn’t resist the urge to purchase the dark brown for $14.99 and experiment on my hair. I figured I’d save some money and put my curiosity to bed. There are two things I was looking for. Gray coverage (yes, I know I’m too young to have this problem. However, I started getting gray hair in my mid 20’s. Stupid genetics!) The other thing is that I didn’t want any chemicals. I didn’t want my hair to feel over processed and straw like. So, I’m checking that my list of demands can be met and lo and behold, it can. In their own words, “Shea Moisture’s Moisture-Rich, Ammonia-Free Hair Color system gently, yet effectively, colors your hair for a softer, silkier and healthier appearance. A permanent, no drip formula delivers vibrant color, body and shine. Provides excellent gray coverage.”

So, my two major concerns were addressed in the description, but you know I had to read the reviews to see what the customers had to say. The reviews were pretty good, several people commented how well it covered their gray. So, I took the plunge and bought it. The verdict? It worked really well. All my grays disappeared and my hair felt great and my curl pattern remained the same, which is important to me as well. I do have a few suggestions for Shea Moisture.  I ordered the dark brown and my hair is super dark. It doesn’t look brown at all, more like jet black. I inserted some pictures for you to see. It maybe hard to tell, but trust me, it’s black.

I would suggest getting a lighter shade to get the color that you want. I’ll probably get the chestnut or medium brown next time. My other suggestion has to do with the shampoo and conditioner that is provided with the hair color. The packaging is horrible! The product does not want to come out of the container and I had to squeeze the bottles several times to get it to come out; it was very frustrating. My last suggestion is pertaining to the website. I wasn’t able to load the second page of reviews. I think it would be helpful to customers if they are able to access all of the reviews so we can make a informed decision. Another thing to think about is making this  more accessible in Target and other stores so customers do not have to pay shipping fees from your website. Maybe that’s just my geographical area though, I’m in the Midwest and haven’t seen this before.

I loved how healthy my hair feels after coloring it. I also liked that I only needed one box for all of my hair, I typically have to use two because my hair is so thick and long. I will definitely purchase again in the future. Let me know in the comment section what your thoughts are if you’ve used this hair color line.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Shea Moisture. I bought this hair color with my own money and this is my unbiased opinion.

 

 

Honey for Face

Honey makes a great facial beauty product. It is a natural humectant, a moisture locker. It is also an antibacterial that happens to leave your skin feeling baby, buttery soft and smooth. Plus it is easy to use. Just take a couple of teaspoons and get to finger painting on your face! You can add a couple drops of water to make it smear more easily, but if you splash your face beforehand it should be fine.

A note: we are not talking about the honey you see in the plastic honey bear at the store. That stuff is so processed it can barely be called honey anymore. We are talking raw, unfiltered honey. All natural and organic labels don’t mean the same thing and may not be as effective due to processing. Even Wal-mart is known to carry at least 1 or 2 brands of the good stuff now, too.

We absolutely LOVE HONEY for our face. Why:

 

  • Effective Cleanser: Opens pores for deep cleansing
  • Super Moisturizer: Adds a healthy luminescent glow due to deep conditioning
  • Acne fighter: Is a natural Antibacterial so fights and prevents acne
  • Scar Healer: Is a natural healing balm so will heal old scars from acne and other complexion abusers
  • Sexy preserver: Prevents signs of aging due to high antioxidant and vitamin content
  • Cheap: Is pretty inexpensive compared to over the counter cleansers
  • Gentle: Contains no harsh chemicals, perfumes or dyes to irritate your most valuable real estate: your face

 

Besides your face, it has tons of uses so it’s just good to have around. Besides, while you’re pampering your face you can spoon some into your tea too!

 

Honey can be used as a DIY face mask, especially in the winter when the air is so dry and your skin is struggling to rebalance itself. If your skin is like mine, it acts up the most in the winter. Honey can soothe and moisturize, taking some of the stress off your skin and you (who probably freaks out that you’ve lost that radiance of former seasons). Simply smear onto a moist face and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. It is not a drying mask so you can rest easy with those cucumbers over your eyes even if you happen to indulge and catch a cat nap. Gently remove with warm washcloth. Be sure to remove well, especially around those baby hairs.

Honey can also be mixed with a natural exfoliator such as baking soda to make a DIY (and cheap) facial scrub. This is also great to keep oily skin balanced or acne prone pores clear. Your skin will glow and be smoother than you’ve ever felt it!

Honey can also serve as an on the spot acne treatment. Its antibacterial properties help to kill the pimple party in your pores and double as an anti-inflammatory to bring down some of the swelling. It works as kind of a natural Neosporin to soothe acne related issues sooner.  Manuka honey is known to have the highest antibacterial content.

Back to the Neosporin property: Have a cut, bump, bruise, eczema patch, burn or otherwise delicate situation happening on your face? Well, we can’t think of any better cleanser to use than this natural healing balm. It will calm and cleanse and is as gentle as a mother’s touch. Plus it rinses really easily once you splash it with water so you don’t have to scrub or irritate your skin anymore to get it off.

So if you are looking for an all-natural cleanser that is affordable, will have your skin looking bomb, and is time tested to be all help and no hurt, look in your cabinet for some honey. Plus, it fixes boo boos on your kids. Can it get any better?!